1.3 FUTURE TOOLS FOR CONCURRENT ENGINEERING
• More computer tools are becoming available for breaking down the barriers between the ‘Islands’ of automation.
• Some tasks have been defined for evolving software to support concurrent engineering. [ get source]
1. Interoperable tools and tasks - Develop standards for file transfer, so that software may pass information freely between various engineering systems.
2. Interoperable computing environment - The differences between different computers, from different vendors should be eliminated, or at least made to be insignificant. This will overcome the need for separated systems which occurs now. This also extends to other aspects of computing technology, such as User interfaces, Database interfaces, Files management systems.
3.Data management - Basically integrate all information into a single framework, so that transferring information is no longer an issue. An example of this is a single database which would serve all software in a facility, so that there is no need for transferring designs, and other information.
4. Process management - At present human judgement is still required to initiate any, and all processes in an automated environment. If the computers could be made to automatically review designs, or forward information the interested parties, then the computer would create an automated framework for concurrent engineering.
5. Decision support - While most of the other 4 developments are concerned with the design information. We would eventually require tools that examine the work done by the group, and determine which aspects of the design still need to be performed, or are insufficient. In effect, the computer takes on some of the management tasks.
• As the 5 stages above develop the focus changes from data to knowledge, and from simple storage of files, to shared collaboration of data.